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The UK jobs market continues to grow, as shown by the results of the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Market Statistics report.

The report showed that employment continues to increase, with the number of unemployed or economically inactive people continuing to fall.

The unemployment rate currently stands at 6.8%, with 2.2 million currently unemployed – the lowest rate for five years.

A record increase in those identifying as self-employed drove the numbers up, with 375,000 more workers registering since this time last year, bringing the total number up to 4.55 million.

This means that self-employed workers now represent 15% of the UK’s 30 million-strong workforce.

24,000 more people have registered as self-employed than as employees since this time last year, raising questions as to whether workers increasingly have no choice but to go self-employed.

Having said this, the ONS maintain that the last five years show a more definitive picture. A spokesperson for the ONS said:

“[The figures suggest] that while self-employment has continued to play a role in the rising level of employment in all regions with the exception of the east Midlands, the majority of the recovery in employment over this period has arisen as a consequence of rising numbers of employees.”

Image by Department for Work and Pensions